NOP Internal Audits
Internal Audits by a third party provide a unique opportunity for improvement of certifier systems, staff engagement and efficient use of resources. Often these audits are considered a necessary accreditation requirement, but clients find greater value beyond basic accreditation compliance.
I see myself as observer and facilitator. As an experienced, observant, and cooperative auditor, I find discrepancies, non-compliances, or areas for improvement. I discuss findings during daily meetings with the certifier to identify recurring issues and weaknesses in the system. The agency remains with the certifier staff. I provide quality input and make suggestions, but we collaborate in finding causes and solutions. The root cause analysis can lead to issues in the areas of accuracy and efficiency of administrative tasks, workflow, templates, electronic system, and staff training.
The certifier is encouraged to include staff in the opening and closing meetings. Depending on preference, those meetings can be supported by a PowerPoint presentation designed to serve as valuable training session.
“Silke has brought fresh perspective and valuable experience to our program reviews. She encourages discussion among the staff and gives us room to navigate when looking for those areas that need improvement. Silke is very knowledgeable, sees the big picture, and focuses on process rather than checking boxes off a list. Now we look forward to and feel relaxed during our internal audits - Thank you Silke!”
Jessica Terry, Compliance Director, NOFA-NY Certified Organic LLC
“Organic Insights is the perfect title for this consulting business. Silke has a talent for being insightful into the inner workings of our complex organic certification process. She offers a full, authentic explanation and response to any concern or question posed. She turns a requirement into a rewarding, efficient and productive experience. Her contribution allows us to create greater efficiencies within our systems and allows our internal resources to stay focused on our work. She is a valuable member of the team.”
Lauren Tonti, Former Co-Director, NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
"Silke is a very dedicated professional, highly knowledgeable and she brought her decades of experience in the organic sector into the internal audits we conducted with her. I appreciated very much Silke´s inoffensive style, being open to first understand how we work before drawing quick conclusions. The points Silke raised were always well researched and transparently explained to us. She gave us very good analyses and we could go straight into implementation. Her audits were a great preparation for the USDA audit, and we had no problems at that point. The auditors clearly appreciated the work we had done together. It was great working with her."
Tobias Fischer, Certification International Department, Kiwa BCS Öko-Garantie GmbH